UPS Pilots: Fatal Crash Report Spurs Innovation

Jul 24, 2013, 07:09 ET from Independent Pilots Association

UPS, Pilots Cooperate in Developing New Air Cargo Fire Safety Technology Following 2010 Crash; Union President Calls for Quick Adoption

LOUISVILLE, Ky., July 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The General Civil Aviation Authority (United Arab Emirates) today released its final report concerning the fatal crash of a United Parcel Service (UPS) B747-400 in Dubai on September 3, 2010.  The report details facts concerning the accident, and makes recommendations addressing air cargo fire safety.

"Nearly three years following this tragic accident, UPS pilots welcome the release of this final report," said Independent Pilots Association (IPA) President Robert Travis. "Some of the GCAA's recommendations are already being addressed by a joint company and pilot union group, the IPA/UPS Safety Task Force, created shortly after the accident," he stated.

Travis said the union has worked with UPS to design, build, test and demonstrate for the FAA and NTSB an active fire suppression system capable of suppressing and containing a fire for up to four (4) hours.  The technologies incorporated in that container, known as the Unit Load Device, consist of improved materials and a potassium based aerosol suppressant.

"We encourage the FAA and UPS to move quickly and deliberately in approving and fully implementing this new technology," added Travis.

Prior to the release of the GCAA's final report, the UPS/IPA Safety Task Force recommended other safety measures that are being implemented by UPS including EVAS (Emergency Vision Assurance System), and quick donning full-face oxygen masks for all UPS aircraft.  Both provide significant improvements on the flight deck during an onboard smoke, fire or fume event. 

"We tragically lost two of our best pilots in the Dubai crash. As UPS pilots, we are determined to do everything in our power to minimize the risk associated with on-board smoke and fire events," said Travis.  "This includes proper regulations governing the carriage of hazardous materials including lithium batteries."

SOURCE Independent Pilots Association